Archive for July 2017

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The United States has always supported dictators in the Congo, but now Washington is acting like it wants the oust the guy it put in power; Mumia Abu Jamal says the tide is turning against barbaric medical practices in U.S. prisons; and, we’ll have a conversation with two Black authors that claim Reparations for slavery is a dead issue.

Reparations remains on the agenda of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which will hold a national conference at Chicago State University, August 12th and 13 th . It’s the 8 year-old coalition’s first national conference outside the East Coast. Kamm Howard is the point person on reparations for Black Is Back. He’s chairman of the legislative commission of NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America.

Dr. Issa Jahi and Reggie Mabry authored a recent article in Black Agenda Report, in which they laid out what they believe is a new legal strategy to gain reparations for Black people in the United States. Jahi and Mabry contend that current reparations efforts will never be accepted by U.S. courts, and that, for the time being, reparations is dead. We spoke, first, with Dr. Issa.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, took the Pennsylvania prison system to court for failure to treat him and thousands of other inmates with Hepatitis C. And he won, twice. The mass Black incarceration state continues its barbaric medical practices, but Abu Jamal says the tide is turning.

Two million people have been displaced by violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Untold numbers have been killed, with many bodies found in mass graves. According to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo, it is no coincidence that vast quantities of precious minerals have also been discovered in the Kasai region.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.

The United States has embedded itself in Syrian territory, after six years of arming Islamic jihadist fighters to overthrow that government. Russia is also in Syria, but that’s at the request of the recognized Syrian government. There is no legal justification for the U.S. presence in Syria, according to Dr. Francis Boyle, the professor of international law at the University of Illinois.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold a national conference in Chicago, August 12 and 13. The theme of the gathering is “The Ballot AND the Bullet: War and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump.” We spoke with Black is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela, and asked, What’s so different about the Donald Trump era?

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, was a radio journalist before he was locked up in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. In an essay for Prison Radio, Abu Jamal speaks of Franz Fanon, the “Revolutionary Journalist.”

Diane, Rwigara, the 35-year old daughter of a businessman believed to have been assassinated by the regime of Paul Kagame, in Rwanda, is perservering in her presidential bid. People that challenge dictator Paul Kagame most often wind up dead, in prison, or in exile. David Himbara is journalist who fled Rwanda to avoid assassination. Himbara says Diane Rwigara has given Rwandans hope. He appeared on Phil Taylor’s radio program, “Unusual Sources,” in Toronto, Canada.

WBAI-FM Radio, in New York City, is being sued by the Empire State building, from whose towers it has been broadcasting since 1965. But the Empire State Building management claims WBAI owes more than 2 million dollars in back rent. The suit threatens not only WBAI, but other Pacifica stations in Texas and California, according to WBAI interim executive director Bill Crosiere

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Black people gathered in East St. Louis, Illinois, and nearby Ferguson, Missouri, to mark one of the nation’s most deadly racist assaults, 100 years ago. Mumia Abu Jamal challenges the prosecutorial racism that put him in prison, 35 years ago. And, the Green Party puts forward a candidate for mayor of New York City.

But first – Rev. Edward Pinkney, the veteran community leader from mostly Black Benton Harbor, Michigan, is breathing free air for the first time in two-and- a-half years. Rev. Pinkney was released from prison after serving 30 months of a maximum ten year sentence for trying to recall a mayor allied with the giant Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated his city. The newly released political prisoner recalled his ordeal in the Michigan prison system.

A century ago, white mobs killed hundreds of Black people in East St. Louis, Illinois, in a slaughter that shaped Black politics for much of the remainder of the 20 th century. Back in 1917, when the white media spoke of “race riots,” they meant mass white assaults on Black communities. Many historians now refer to attacks like the one on East St. Louis, as pogroms -- organized racist bloodbaths. Dr. Randy Short was a principal organizer of three days of actions marking the massacre. He says these rituals of mass murder were standard white political behavior, for many generations.

The Green Party’s candidate for mayor of New York City, Akeem Browder, thinks his fight to get on the ballot will be successful, despite the difficulties that small parties face in challenging the rule of the duopoly, corporate parties. Akeem is the brother of Kalief Browder, the young man who spent one thousand days locked up in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail, before charges against him were dropped for a crime he didn’t commit. Kalief Browder then fell into a deep depression and committed suicide. His brother Akeem’s challenge to Mayor Bill Deblasio is an uphill climb. Diblasio was once seen by many as the great progressive white hope for New York. But, fewer people feel that way now that he’s up for re-election.

The 4 th of July is just another day behind bars if, like Mumia Abu Jamal and many others, you are a political prisoner in the United States. Mumia’s 35 years in prison, much of it on death row, in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer, has been marked by many courtroom dramas, punctuated by massive mobilizations of his worldwide supporters. There was encouraging news on the legal front, last month. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history and African American Studies at Baruch College, and a key organizer in the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Dr. Fernandez explained the complex legal issue that is now before the Pennsylvania courts.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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